9/11 - The Idea

Ever since I watched what happened that day, I've thought about two things:

1 - 9/11 was an end to living unobserved in this world. From now on, people will never be considered above suspicion. We'll be watched, monitored, filed, numbered, indexed, collated, and databased forever. There was a time when people could consider themselves free, at least in some places in the world. But now we no longer will live in such a place. 

On the other hand, I also realized that a great advance - or perhaps retreat - has happened. The second thing I couldn't stop thinking about is as positive as the first thing was negative.

2 - 9/11 showed us that normal people, common folk, can not only be heroes but can do things that for decades now we've been told to 'leave to the experts'. I remember watching a movie a long time ago of an airline hostage situation where the passengers fought back. I also remember hearing many commentators and 'experts' telling us how dangerous such a move would be, and concluding that the victims of a hostage situation should just sit back and let whatever happens to them happen. They should submit to their hostage takers, they should do whatever they were asked, and they should certainly never offer any sort of resistance to them.

I watched what happened, on 9/11 and was inspired about how wrong these so-called experts were. There were two planes where the passengers knew about the fate that awaited them. One was filled with people who listened to the experts. They sat back, and observed what the 'experts' had taught for years: in spite of the fact they knew they'd die, they didn't do a thing. I, by no means, mean to denigrate them, or their character. The people on this flight didn't choose to have happen what did. They were probably as good a people as any such cross-section of Americans would be. However, I couldn't help but think that by their willing inaction, even though they were fairly certain of their fate, by their inaction, they helped destroy a wing of the Pentagon, and several hundred lives.

The other airplane, however, had a few heroes onboard. They had the same information, but they decided that they would rather die in trying to change the situation than sit by helplessly and die anyway. My heart went out to them, and their families. I was encouraged tremendously by their example

A few days later, as more details became known about what the heroes of United Airlines Flight 93 learned and did, I started forming in my mind a tribute to those men and women who died, but saved hundreds, perhaps thousands of other lives in the process. The time was not right, then, to start on it. But now, a year later, I feel I can create something that will honour their memories, that will ??? the people they left behind, and that will encourage the rest of us to never let another airline be taken hostage without a fight.

People can be brave when the situation demands it. Too long we've been told by 'experts' in many fields to "leave it to us". Policemen telling citizens to not get involved, just call the cops. Firemen evacuating people, refusing help even when offered. And experts in terrorism telling us to not offer any sort of resistance.

I believe that the events of 9/11, both those that occurred on flight 93, as well as stories of what happened in New York, have shown us that the 'officials' need to redefine their roles as not only being the ones trained to handle a situation, but as managers and encouragers of the common citizen who turns up to offer help, even if it means they might be risking their lives doing so.

9/11 should be the last time that an airline was ever taken hostage. There's no way that a successful hostage situation could have occurred in the months following that date. The entire plane full of passengers would have rushed any attempts. Now, however, I sense people have started becoming more passive again, and more complacent. Airport security is a total joke - guns and sharp objects aren't the only way that a plane can be hijacked. People think that because these things are screened and removed, they have nothing to worry about. Their safety has been assured by the experts back at the security gates. However, unless virtually every person on board a plane is willing to act as an air marshal, should he be called to, I believe that the skies are just as vulnerable as ever, perhaps more so, since the security screenings lull us into a sense of complacency.

Anyway, I decided that I would try to make a movie of what happened that day. It will, of necessity, be a fictional account. I don't claim any part of it is based on real people, or what actually may have happened on Flight 93. But I hope that it will encourage others to act in just as brave a manner as the real passengers of Flight 93, no matter how dire the situation, should they be called to. I hope you both enjoy the site, and the movie, and that it encourages you to be a hero as well.